Amazing Audiobooks Nominations
Updated July 11, 2014. Please feel free to suggest a title!
ACID by Emma Pass, read by Fiona Hardingham with Nicholas Guy Smith and Suzan Crowley. Listening Library, 2014. 10 hours, 48 mins, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6832-8. Jenna has been locked away for life in prison for killing her parents. ACID, the brutal police state in power, rules all. So when Jenna is broken out of prison by a rebel group, she is in even more danger than when she was imprisoned. Jenna fights to survive as a fugitive on the run and as ACID's number one most wanted. Can she uncover the real reason why she was broken out of prison?
Champion by Marie Lu, read by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern. Penguin Audio, 2013. 10 hours. Amidst a backdrop of political intrigue, bitter warfare, and raging disease, June and Day fight against the clock in a desperate battle to save the lives of everyone they hold dear. Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern adeptly narrate both the internal struggles of June and Day as well as the action-packed events which carry the story along.
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick. Blackstone, 2013. 9 hours, 30 mins, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4789-2648-1. In an alternate England of 1851, fifteen-year-old Sophronia tries to uncover who is behind a plot to control a prototype that has the potential to alter time travel.
Defy by Sara B. Larson, read by Rebecca Mozo. Scholastic Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 40 minutes, ISBN: 9780545677400. Since her parents were killed 3 years ago, Alexa has been serving as a member of the Prince’s royal guard and living disguised as boy. When the Prince, Alexa, and another guard are kidnapped by an enemy sorcerer, her secrets - and the secrets of many others - are revealed. Mozo’s taught narration exposes Alexa’s anxiety over hiding her true identity.
Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy, read by Andrew Eide. Scholastic Audio, 2014. 10 hours, 43 minutes, ISBN: 978-0-5455-4369-9. High school senior, Danny Wright, enlisted in the Idaho National Guard so that he could honor his father's legacy as well as get money for college. However, when he was on the front line for a controversial showdown with protesters, Danny gets caught up in a scandal that puts his state against the government, threatens his family and friends, and makes him question all that he believes in.
Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski, read by Erin Spencer. Listening Library, 2014. 7 hours, 52 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6724-6. Students at Bloomberg High School in New York have accidentally received a contaminated batch of a flu vaccination that gives each of them powers of telepathy. How it affects their relationships and their self-concepts makes for interesting developments and in the end they have to decide whether to take the antidote (to return to “normal”) or not. It could play as tense and suspenseful, but the tone is light and explores the usual teen dynamics—with a twist.
The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers, read by Ezra Knight. Recorded Books, 2013. 9 hours, 15 mins, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4703-9293-2. Myers chronicles the story of multiple generations of one family from slavery through Jim Crow laws through modern day, as they experience the many struggles for civil and human rights. Ezra Knight’s expert narration distinguishes a host of characters, both male and female of varied ages, from different races and regions across multiple periods of time.
The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares, read by Emily Rankin. Listening Library, 2014. 7 hours, 21 minutes, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-2134-7. 17 year-old Prenna James, a time traveler who has escaped from a devastated future world to the year 2014, knows the horrors that the future holds. Together with Ethan, a time native with his own special powers, Prenna must draw upon her own strength and courage, defying the harsh rules of her community in order to put the future to rights and save the world.
Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs, read by Kirby Heyborne. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 11 hours, 30 minutes, 10 discs, ISBN: 978-1-62460-038-8. Having just escaped the utter destruction of their home, Jacob, Emma, Bronwyn, and the rest of their bedraggled gang of peculiar children embark on a desperate mission to rescue their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. Heyborne’s superb narration captures the children’s terror and determination as they continue their quest, despite the monstrous creatures that pursue them.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, read by Julia Whelan and Luke Daniels. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4805-5360-6. Hayley is the daughter of a of a war veteran suffering from PTSD. They have just returned and settled into life in her father’s hometown, but life at a new school and the ever increasing severity of her father’s flashbacks has made Hayley’s life unpredictable and uncontrollable.
The Killing Woods, by Lucy Christopher, read by Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 30 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4829-6740-1. In this dark and captivating tale of murder, betrayal, and a Game gone wrong, Emily and Damon are drawn inexorably together, both driven to discover what happened on the night when Damon’s girlfriend, Ashlee, was brutally murdered. Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell masterfully capture the raw pain and devastation which fuel Damon and Emily as they desperately seek the truth, knowing full well that it may destroy them completely.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, read by Amber Faith. Listening Library, 2013. 7 hours, 28 mins, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6772-7. Cassie is recruited by a special unit of the FBI for teenagers with natural skills and is drawn into the case of serial killer whose victims are suspiciously like her dead mother. Faith’s narration highlights the thriller’s tense moments and helps the listener differentiate between many teen characters.
Noggin by John Corey Whaley, read by Kirby Heyborne. Simon & Schuster, 2014. 8 hours, 30 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4423-6985-6. Travis agreed to participate in a medical experiment when, at 16 years old, he was dying from cancer. His head was removed from his body and frozen until a time when it could be attached to a healthy body. Well, that time came five years later, when Travis, feeling like he just woke up from a nap, finds his head attached to a healthier, better body. What a second chance! The only problem is that so much has happened in the five years since Travis first died, and all he wants is things to be the same as before he died.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin, read by Dominic Hoffman. Listening Library, 2014. 3 hours, 50 mins, 3 Discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6744-4. The true, but little-known story of 50 black sailors who chose to defy the Navy by refusing to return to unsafe practices in loading bombs after an explosion kills 320 servicemen at Port Chicago in San Francisco Bay during WWII. Dominic Hoffman’s lends his even-tempered voice to distinguish the story of each individual involved and to share what happened to them in this emotional and important tale in U.S. history.
The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos, read by Lincoln Hoppe. Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 23 mins, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6728-4. Burned and scarred by an accident when he was a young boy, Harbinger “Harry” Jones, finds that playing in a band helps him get over the psychological scars of the accident and the bullying that followed in middle school and high school.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, read by MacLeod Andrews. Brilliance Audio, 2013. 12 hours, 20 mins, 10 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4805-6913-3. After “Calamity” granted superpowers to ordinary people, society began to change. Instead of using their newfound gifts for the betterment of all, these “Epics” shaped things for their own pleasures. David first saw this when his father was killed by Steelheart, one of the most powerful Epics in the world. Now David seeks vengeance. Everyone believes in Steelheart’s invincibility, but David has seen him bleed. And David will see him die.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, read by Cynthia Holloway and Jonathan McClain. Listening Library, 2013. 11 hours, 15 mins, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-2345-7. In this futuristic sci-fi tale, the daughter of the richest man in the universe is aboard a spacecraft that crashes and she is stranded with a young, heroic soldier on a strange planet where voices seem to reach into their minds guiding their steps. They are from opposite sides of society and clash constantly, but being forced together to survive shapes a love that must overcome multiple obstacles.
The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson, read by Meera Simhan. Listening Library, 2014. 8 hours, 32 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6702-4. After her dictator father is assassinated, Leila, her mother, and her young brother escape to the United States, but the political situation in their home country follows. Simhan’s subtly accented narration highlights Leila’s struggle to adjust to her new life.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, read by Ariadne Meyers. Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 30 minutes, 5 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6841-0. Two summers after a mysterious accident that lead to her debilitating migraines, Cadence returns to her family’s private island to discover the truth behind her injuries. Meyer’s authentic narration captures Cadence’s confusion and pain.
The Well’s End by Seth Fishman, read by Katie Schorr. Blackstone Audio, 2014. x hours, xx minutes, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-1482971965. Westbrook Academy serves the most elite students in the country, set in the Colorado mountains near the small town of Fenton, site of the mysterious company, Fenton Electronics. Mia Kish is a “townie” student at this ritzy school because her father is head of the nearby firm, but when a strange virus hits the school and kills nearly all the adults within hours (by “aging” them to death), she and a small circle of friends must escape the quarantined school surrounded by armed guards and uncover the truth.
When I Was the Greatest, by Jason Reynolds, read by J.B. Adkins. Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 3 minutes, 5 discs, ISBN: 978-0-553-39571-6. Fifteen-year-old Ali is making his way in a tough neighborhood, steering clear of drugs and guns and trying to do right by his friends and family. Things are good, but everything goes wrong when Ali and his best friends, Noodles and Needles, are invited to a big-time party where they come face to face with the ugliness and brutality of the outside world.